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These additional articles were ratified by the United States in 1882, but owing to the proposed amendment of one article by one of the signatory powers, formal ratification of the treaty was never officially proclaimed, and the additional articles of 1868 to the Geneva treaty of 1864 never became operative.
At the Hague Conference of 1899, which was called at the instance of the Emperor of Russia, and at which the United States was represented by delegates, the dispositions respecting an adaptation of maritime warfare to the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1864 were set forth in fourteen articles, 14 In these were embodied in substance the proposed supplementary provisions of the Geneva Convention. The United States ratified the treaty of 1899 and its provisions continued in force until 1907 when it was revised and expanded into twenty-eight articles,15 the United States being one of the signatory powers.
As has already been stated, the Geneva Convention of 1864 was revised by the International Congress of Geneva in 1906. The ten original articles were expanded into thirty-three and many new provisions were incorporated. It was to this revised Geneva treaty that the rules of naval war were to be adapted and adjusted. In the new Convention of Geneva is found a new provision for protecting the insignia of the Red Cross from misuse by private persons or by societies not recognized as entitled to it, and specially for stopping its commercial use as a trade-mark.
Article twenty-seven provided (Great Britain dissenting) that all the signatory powers whose legislation did not adequately protect the insignia and name would take the necessary steps to prevent their unauthorized use. A similar provision is found in the Hague Convention of 1907.
The fact that a trade-mark is recognized as a common-law property right in many countries, of which the user can not be legally deprived, and the further fact that the red Greek cross has for many years been in very general use by commercial and mannfacturing concerns as a commercial trade-mark, render the protection of the insignia, in the United States, to the extent and degree proposed by
14 See SUPPLEMENT to the JOURNAL of April, 1907 (Vol. I),
the Geneva and Hague Conventions, an impossibility. In this regard, nothing more would seem to be practicable than to restrict the commercial use of the badge to those whose property right in it existed at the date when each state recognized its own national Red Cross and to forbid registration or use to all others. About one hundred fifty individuals and partnerships in the United States have registered the Red Cross as a trade mark and these may continue to make use of it for commercial purposes, without other restriction than the laws impose.
The Hague Conference of 1899 agreed to and defined the Rules and Regulations for the Conduct of War on Land. Articles XV and XXI of these Rules 16 are provisions that directly relate to the relief of prisoners of war, and to the obligations of belligerents in respect to the sick and wounded. This agreement of 1899 and the " Regulations” respecting war on land were revised at the Hague in 1907, but without material change as respects those two provisions that touch upon the work of the Red Cross.17
The American Association of the Red Cross, incorporated in 1881, engaged in various relief operations sanctioned by its charter in aid of the sufferers from war, fire, floods, hurricanes, famines, etc.
On January 6, 1900, the Congress incorporated the American Red Cross and there was a re-incorporation in 1905.
The records respecting the operations of the society in the United States previous to 1905 are very fragmentary and unsatisfactory. Since re-incorporation in 1905 there has been raised by voluntary contribution and expended in relief work in the United States and foreign countries about $5,000,000, but no part of it applied to the succor of those wounded in war, because, fortunately, the occasion for such use has not arisen.
Since the reincorporation of the American Red Cross in 1905 no occasion has arisen for the exercise of its functions in aid of the wounded soldiers or sailors of the United States, but there have been twelve occasions within the United States and its insular possessions and fourteen in other countries, of Red Cross participation
16 See SUPPLEMENT to the JOURNAL of April, 1907 (Vol. I), pp. 140 and 142. 17 See SUPPLEMENT to the JOURNAL of January, 1908 (Vol. II), pp. 103 and
in relief of suffering, the funds for defraying the cost of these operations having been contributed by the public.
It is held by the management that the phrase last quoted whereby the Society is authorized to devise and carry on measures for preventing suffering warrants the assumption by the Red Cross of a class of work whereby relief is incidentally provided for minor disasters and the survivors of accidents, to the end that a force may be instructed and trained in relief work so that their expert services may be efficient in aid of the medical department of the armies and navies in campaign and also in succor of the victims of great nonmilitary disasters.
In some countries the functions of the Red Cross are restricted to the relief of the sick and wounded in war, and in a few of the Latin-American republics the name “Red Cross” has been used to designate the medical and sanitary services as an integral part of the national forces, but in most of the nations the organization is authorized to participate in aid of the sufferers from great calamities when the resulting suffering is beyond the capacity of local measures of relief.
The United States was the first of the great powers to extend by legislative enactment its functions to what may be called civil in contradistinction to military relief and the general tendency now is to remove all restrictions to its operations in succor of all suffering. If this policy be applied generally it would seem to be an inevitable result that the Red Cross is to become the great national agency of benevolence and charity, operating not only throughout the length and breadth of the Union but participating in such work to the extent of its means in the relief of suffering in all countries, becoming in fact a national relief agency.
Its success or failure in this, or indeed in any role, must depend upon the efficiency, the integrity, the capability of its personnel and the strength of the organization. If the Red Cross is to command the confidence of the public, who alone are its clients, it must be able to show that their contributions will be more efficiently applied by it than through individual or local agencies.
The circumstances that attended the bestowal of official recog
nition upon the organization that proposed to itself the role of an auxiliary, to assist in the care of the sick and wounded in war and promote the general walfare of the American Army have been detailed. That the promoters of the movement should fail at first to fully realize their ideals in this novel and colossal undertaking is not surprising. It is well-nigh certain that the Medical Bureau, which, in 1861, gave its qualified indorsement to the proposal for a commission for inquiry and advice had little faith in a favorable
But it was manifest to all in authority in Washington that the patriotic impulses of the public to assist in the cause of the Union by aiding their sons, brothers and fathers who were flocking to the colors, could not be restrained. The movement for extending aid through personal contributions of money, supplies, and services had to be reckoned with, and the legally organized military machinery for supplying the troops and caring for the men in camps and hospitals had to be adjusted to this condition, and so the public were told by the President, the Secretary of War, and the Surgeon General that its aid and assistance in safeguarding the health of the forces and in devising means for general relief, would be welcomed.
Of what may be called battlefield relief, i. e., the collecting and transportation of the wounded to the field dressing stations, establishments which with their means of field transports in European armies are called ambulances, the Sanitary Commission undertook nothing. These establishments in European and the Japanese armies, maintained by the Red Cross, are very extensive, but this is a recent development, the detachments being made up of trained officers and men and the equipment a duplicate of what the war ministry provides for the official sanitary service. The volunteer personnel is under strict discipline and all are strictly subordinated to the chief of the regular sanitary corps. Had the Civil War continued another year, there can be no doubt that the ambulance service at the front would have been composed in part of Sanitary Commission Auxiliary Relief Corps detachments and equipment.
The evacuations of the battlefields and field hospitals by means of steamers and railway trains, manned, equipped, and supplied by
the Commission became an important part of its work, and was of vast assistance. The hospital cars of 1863 and 1864, planned and constructed under the supervision of the Commission agents, were models of adaptability and convenience. Much the largest part of the Commission's finances, however, were applied in general relief of the troops in camps and hospitals, supplying food, clothing, meeting deficiencies, and assisting in many ways. Soldiers' relief stations were established on the principal lines of communication where food and medical attention were dispensed; and wagon and railway trains and steamers, freighted with supplies, were constantly in service between the bases and the theaters of active operations.
There was no function of relief assumed by the Commission that the Red Cross has not also assumed, save hygiene. The sole deficiency in the organization and achievements of the former was in respect of ambulance service on battlefields. Until the RussoJapanese war of 1904–5 such service was not efficiently rendered on a considerable scale for troops in campaign, and will never be efficient unless its personnel and equipment are conformable as to training, discipline and pattern of equipment to the same features of the regular service and all strictly subordinated, as respects direction and control, to the Chief of the Sanitary Corps with the army in campaign.
While the Red Cross, sometimes referred to as an international organization, was the outcome of the work of the international meetings at Geneva, 1863-1864, yet the Red Cross of each country has no powers, rights, privileges, immunities, or responsibilities, that are not derived from the franchise or recognition conferred by the government of the state where it exists.
Since 1863 eight international conferences have been held in European capitals, composed of official delegates from the states and their Red Cross Central Committees. At these meetings there have been general consultations, exchange of ideas, consideration of plans for strengthening the organization, and the formulation of proposals or recommendations for organic changes or improvements. The Ninth International Conference will be held in Washington in 1912.